Trapattoni: Players must give more

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:14

Trapattoni: Players must give more

The Republic have already defied the odds to finish second in Group Eight after giving reigning champions Italy a major scare.
However, their 70-year-old manager has warned his team they will need to shift into another gear if they are to complete the job by springing a shock in the play-offs against France.
Trapattoni said: “We need the same spirit, we need the same performance, we need the attitude we have had in the games throughout qualification – but we have to add some more.
“Every player must in these 180 minutes add something more to his performance.
“We must avoid nervousness. These are important games and, in important games, in my experience, some players can lose their cool.
“They have to keep their heads and play as we have done until now and, with this mentality, we can play on an equal footing with France.
“For us, these games are the final of the World Cup, qualification or not.”
The French will go into Saturday night’s first leg as hot favourites but there is a belief within the Irish camp their time has come.
Not since they dumped Holland out of the same competition in 2001 have Ireland beaten one of Europe’s big boys but it was noticeable Trapattoni did not resort to the David and Goliath metaphor he employed ahead of both qualifiers against his native country as he assessed their chances this time around.
He said: “It’s important we believe in our performance, our mentality, our balance, our spirit. This is our strength.”
Trapattoni was in relaxed mood as he conducted his pre-match press conference in a packed suite at the Grand Hotel in Malahide.
He opened by enquiring, with a smile, where the French journalists were in the room and, after a show of hands, said apologetically: “I don’t speak French,” before adding: “I don’t speak also English.”
But, despite his humour, the message was clear as he contemplated the task ahead of his players.
Trapattoni said: “In the past few days, we have said many words, many things, about this game.
“Now we must move from words to action and put into practice what we have said.”
The vastly-experienced Trapattoni has approached the game having answered many of the questions posed about his methods in the hard currency of results.
Some onlookers may not like the way in which his team play but they cannot deny the results, and two more over the next few days will simply enhance his status.
By contrast, France coach Raymond Domenech arrived in Dublin this evening under extreme pressure amid an almost universal acceptance his demise is inevitable should the unthinkable happen.
Reported comments from the French camp, which have variously reduced Ireland to the ranks of England’s B team and have suggested they will attempt to kick France all the way back to Paris, have simply served to gird loins.
Trapattoni said: “For us, it’s important not to have a reaction about these words.
“Domenech is not on the pitch. It is our players against France’s players and we do not allow ourselves to think about what we read in the newspapers.”
Trapattoni will finalise his team selection this evening but has only one decision still to make, and that is on the right side of midfield.
Damien Duff will line up on the left ahead of the same defence and behind the same frontline that started against the Italians, while either Celtic’s Aiden McGeady or Stoke’s Liam Lawrence will provide the width on the right.
Trapattoni is desperate to take a positive result to the Stade de France on Wednesday and, to that end, the fact France keepers Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda both played in Sunday’s remarkable 5-5 Ligue 1 draw between Lyon and Marseille was not lost on him.
He said: “Can I joke? I hope they do the same again – but I’m sure it won’t be so.”

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